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Old 01-29-2013, 12:02 AM   #1
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Question Slack 14 Partition schemes in a dual boot


I apologize if I'm beating a dead horse by posting this, but I was hoping to get some advice on setting up a partition scheme in a Slack dual boot with Windows 7.

A little bit about hardware: I'm running 24 Gigs of DDR3 RAM. I have a 600 GB hard drive and Win7 is taking up 200 GB on the first partition. I was thinking about giving maybe 200 to 250 GB to Slack. I'm looking into getting a 2 TB drive for data space later, but for now I'd like to leave a data partition at the end of the drive to share some data between both OSes. It doesn't have to be that big and I'm assuming Fat32 would be best for that.

I'm using a 3rd party boot editor installed under Win7 that actually works pretty well. It enables the ability to set up a multiboot machine without messing with the MBR. I don't wanna come across as a spammer so I won't say what it is, unless you guys really need to know, so if you do, just ask. But I did have FreeBSD installed using it and running error free, but unfortunately I wasn't happy with that OS, so I got rid of it. I fired GParted Live up and deleted it's partition. Long story short, I'll probably install LILO to / or to a /boot partition and just use this 3rd party boot editor to find it.

As far as usage, to give you guys an idea of my needs, I guess we can say that it's purely a desktop system, but I run office programs (Open Office under Win7) and I do a little programming on the side for fun. I listen to a lot of music, and of course surf the web. I tend to hold onto a lot of files (I probably should back them up more often than I do, but...)

I guess the first thing is what should I do for swap given that I have a metric ton of RAM? Most guides only address situations where systems have a minute amount, and I honestly don't think double or triple the amount of RAM that I have would be an efficient use of hard drive space. What would you guys suggest in my situation?

I've been reading all over the place and it seems that the general consensus is something that looks like this:


I've seen the occasional /boot in the event that one would be running multiple distros or multiple kernels, which I can't guarantee that I will or won't. To be honest, sometimes I just like to mess with things, so I'm gonna leave that door open. I am just learning, so you never know.

I've seen suggestions with /user/local, /tmp/, /var/, and /opt/ and variations of those.

Given my needs and resources, which partitions should I make, what size should I make these partitions, what order do I put them in, and which file system would be best for my needs? ext3? ext4? Are there pros and cons to the one I choose to use on each individual partition? Does it matter?

I guess that's it until I get some replies. Again, I apologize for beating a dead horse. Thanks in advance for taking the time out to help me.

Last edited by DemonGeminiX; 01-29-2013 at 12:03 AM.
Old 01-29-2013, 12:13 AM   #2
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I don't have time for a detailed post right now but I will say right off the bat that a shared partition between Linux/Windows should be NTFS and not FAT -- FAT filesystems have a limit of 4 GB per file which may not be enough. Just make sure to mount it using ntfs-3g instead of ntfs in Linux so you have write capability.

As for swap, these days most systems have enough RAM so that swap rarely gets used. You may not even need any swap. However, if you want to hibernate the system, you should have a swap partition the same size as the amount of RAM (well, add a bit [<100 MB] to make sure rounding errors won't creep in). I wouldn't go any bigger than that since you would be wasting the space.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:14 AM   #3
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The /boot partition used to be used to keep the kernel at the beginning of the hard drive. It is not a problem anymore.
Nowadays, it is used to hold the initrd you may need, especially if you use LVM or LUKS (see README_LVM.TXT and README_CRYPT.TXT) on your root partition.

As for the partition scheme, I tend to keep it simple : / /boot /home and swap (for hibernation as T3slider pointed out).
My / and /home are encrypted LVM.
I have a backup on the /home partition to keep the important data from /, such as /root home directory, config (/etc), and MySQL and Apache files. This way I can recycle / and /boot in case I want/need to reinstall, and keep my home partition as is to get back my files.

One other thing you should take into account is how Win7 is laid out: is it MBR+BIOS or GPT+UEFI ?

If it is MBR+BIOS, nothing fancy. Your boot manager will use lilo. You may need to install lilo on the /boot partition instead of /.

On the over hand if it is GPT+UEFI, you will need an UEFI boot loader like elilo instead of lilo.

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Old 01-30-2013, 02:26 AM   #4
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T3Slider: Thanks for the correction. You just saved me a whole mess of frustration, now didn't you? LOL. I will make a note of the shared partition's filesystem. 24GB + 100MB is a huge chunk of space that might go unused. I'll have to think on this one a bit.

cendryon: Thank you for the response. I'm assuming that LVM isn't a requirement at this junction, so I'm probably not going to investigate using it until I become more comfortable with everything. I do see how it could be useful, however.

If you say /, /boot, /home, and swap is good enough for you, then I'll use it as well until I have reason to do otherwise. Or at least until somebody else convinces me to do otherwise. LOL. Now I just gotta figure out how much space I want to dedicate to each partition. 24GB + 100MB on swap... grrrrr... LOL.

I am definitely MBR and BIOS. I have seen GPT in passing, but I haven't looked into it in detail yet. Old habits die hard. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
Old 01-30-2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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Member Response


Partition schemes vary between users and their needs. Personally, I feel with the size and cost for Hard Disk today there is no fear of using a few GB for a swap partition. If you do plan on experimenting then why not setup a '/boot' with sufficient allocation for future experimentation.

Another consideration would be the use of 'SSD' for your system storage. Cost is falling daily and personally I recommend their use. Once setup properly you can be assured a stable fast system. Plus you could use the older HD for backup or intermediate storage. You are using a good backup scheme? If not you should consider doing so.

I do recommend a separate partition for '/home'.

'/boot', 'swap', '/' and '/home' partitions with sufficient allocation for each should be a doable scheme. Look at below links.

A few 'SSD' threads;
Slackware64 + OCZ Petrol 128GB problems
Member response: Slackware & SSD
Member response
Slackware on an SSD

Old partition post;
Hi, First, Welcome to Slackware and the...
Member response

You can do some forum searches and you will find loads of information for partition schemes.


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